Wednesday, September 22, 2004

While i'm away...

Take the quiz: "Which Random Irish Gaelic Phrase Are You? "

Ta mo bhriste tri thine
Ta mo bhriste tri thine - 'My trousers are on fire.'

Well, duh.

I'm in Illinois, helping my parents integrate their inherited antique furniture into our little cape-cod family home. Right now, I'm back in my old bedroom. My cat is with me, looking up at the posters of Garfield, Doctor Who and some random ballerinas and kittens still thumbtacked to the slanted ceiling. I wonder how long it will take me and my Mom to start driving each other nuts. I wonder if, after two years, I remember how to work a car.

I'm here until October 3rd. I doubt I'll blog - though I'll have plenty of material. I'll try to read everyone else's blogs though.

So... time to put out the trousers and go to bed.

Friday, September 17, 2004


Today's blog post was composed somewhere near Morristown, New Jersey.

There is a park that is adjacent to a horse stable. There is a small woods and a play area for kids, complete with jungle gym. There is a softball diamond, and enough open grass to play football or Frisbee or just lie around. There are also picnic tables and benches, and there I sat to write this piece, under a tree, surrounded by strangers, on a perfect sunny autumn afternoon.

I went strolling through the woods. The trail is narrow, and the trees are old, and close. It must be a horseback-riding trail. The crickets were chirping, and the canopy shaded me from the sun. A narrow, shallow stream wound through the trees. As I walked, two angry squirrels chased each other until they caught sight of me. Then they stopped abruptly, sniffing. How dare I invade their space, I wondered, smiling.

I walked on, slowly. The woods got quieter and quieter. A light breeze ruffled my hair and I wondered what the trees were whispering to each other. I started singing to myself softly; I couldn't help it. I felt utterly, wonderfully alone.

I've never really liked people much. I love the idea of people - of being part of a community of beings like me, who build things and adorn things, who write and make music and invent games and exist on a slightly higher plane of awareness than other creatures. Unfortunately, the reality of people, on a grand scale and a personal one, falls far short of that ideal, and in my latter years of childhood, in disappointment, I turned away. The older I get, the braver I have become, and now, at 33, I seek out the companionship of like-minded folks - although it took a long time for me to realize there were more than just two or three on the earth who I could relate to. I find them now almost everywhere, but I retain a layer of distrust when dealing with strangers. This may partially explain why I have done as well as I have in New York, and, at eight million souls, why I am now strangely reluctant to leave it.

As I was walking in the woods, singing to myself, a flash of reddish brown caught my eye. I slowed to a halt and looked. Just a few yards from me was a deer. A small doe, drinking from the stream. She regarded me, weighing her options. Neither of us moved. Just for fun, feeling somewhat magical, I sang to her.

I have never been that close to a wild animal before. I know this is New Jersey, and there are so many deer here that they invade neighborhoods and backyards, destroying suburban flower beds, but still - a wild deer! Well, a somewhat-domesticated deer. I wondered if singing might scare her off, but her ears were enormous, and she seemed relaxed. She listened, I think. I removed my hands from my pockets, and the movement didn't frighten her. Eventually she resumed her drinking from the shallow stream.

I slowly continued on my way, singing, but stopped after a few feet when she tensed, staring at me again. I looked away from her, to the woods ahead, to show that I wasn't interested in her, and walked on. She didn't run.

The path wound around the stream, and the stream crossed the path. I had to walk in closer proximity to the doe to stay on the path. I kept my eyes averted from her, and sang softly. She didn't run. Eventually I passed so close, I heard her breathing. I didn't look, but I probably could have touched her. I went on my way. The last I saw of her, she was peacefully munching the grass near the water.

In 1996, I was assaulted on West 57th street as I was walking to the subway from tenth avenue. It was late morning, and I had just come from an audition, so I was wearing a short dress and heels. Out of the corner of my eye, I had seen the homeless man walking jerkily up the street, muttering to himself, but mentally ill homeless people are everywhere in New York, so I thought nothing of him. Before I realized what was happening, his hand was up my skirt, grabbing my crotch. I screamed. In some kind of knee-jerk reaction, I managed to place my high-heeled right foot squarely in his face, a move I must have seen in a Paula Abdul video. I pushed forward and he fell backward. I ran as fast as my legs could carry me. I heard wild screaming and babbling behind me, but I didn't stop. I ran right into traffic, nearly causing an accident. I kept going, running right across the street, and down another block to the train station. Numbly I dropped in a token and sat down on the train. My crotch burned. My face burned. I breathed hard. Everything seemed frozen still, as though time stopped and no other humans existed in the world, just me on an empty train, speeding away, away, away, faster, faster… My mind drifted to thoughts of Gray's Papaya hot dogs with onions and virgin Pina Coladas in Styrofoam cups. I thought of getting out at 72nd street for a cheap lunch, but I was paralyzed in the seat. I rode home to 95th street, mechanically walked out of the train and up to my apartment, stripped off all my clothes, and got in the shower.

I cried then. The screams came, then the sobs, then simple quiet tears, then nothing. I stood there silent a long time, feeling the hot water streaming down me, listening to my neighbors opening and closing doors, moving furniture upstairs, the TV and dog downstairs. Eventually the hot water ran out, and I stood there, letting my skin freeze, letting my blood freeze, letting my heart freeze.

When I heard the front door open and close, I came out of the shower. I have no idea how long I was in the shower, but I remember my fingers were numb. My roommate greeted me, asked how the audition went. "I got called back," I said. We watched TV and went to bed.

I was never attacked again. For the next seven years, I did not wear short skirts on the street without an escort. When I got my cell phone, I began the practice of flipping it open and pretending to be in a conversation whenever a blue-jeans wearing street guy looked at me while I was walking alone. I have been approached by total strangers and asked for the time, the weather, my itinerary, my name, my phone number, and once my CIA Clearance, but I learned to stare them down, tell them loudly to please stop bothering me, or to simply walk away, ignoring them.

Nobody on the street, in the train, on the sidewalks, or anywhere asked if I was ok or needed help. And I never talked about the incident for almost two years.

If they don't look at me, I don't feel the need to run. Even if they are singing to themselves. Even if they are singing gitchy-gitchy-ya-ya-da-da while listening to headphones that aren't attached to anything. Even if I am on 106th Street at 10:30 at night, or on the lower east side.

Nowadays, in the year 2004, I can walk alone through certain neighborhoods at 2AM in a dress, alone, after a few drinks, and feel completely in control. I wonder if I have become desensitized. I came to New York simply to have a shot at a more exciting, fulfilling life. I know I am just one more domestic immigrant, and I never expected to be handed anything simply for being here. I am like that deer, wandering through an over-populated city, helping myself to the basics of life, hoping someone doesn't take a shot at me, or smash their car into me as I'm running for my life across a busy road. I am one of millions of country creatures who've moved to the city, more of a nuisance to the locals than an exotic, just a tourist who decided to stay.

Last Friday, I had lunch with a friend at the Key West Diner. I was wearing a short summer dress with sandals. My long red hair tumbled down my back. I walked the few blocks home alone, in the bright sunny afternoon. Across the street from my apartment building, as I was waiting for the WALK light to blink, a handsome young man in a white linen shirt asked me if I was single. I answered that I was, but I had a boyfriend already. He asked if I'd like another, and told me I was beautiful. He stood a respectful distance from me, looking at my face. I smiled, said no thank you, and have a nice day. I then turned away from him and climbed the steps of my apartment. I heard him walking away down the street, whistling lightly to himself, focused on the path ahead of him, no longer interested in me. I smiled to myself, feeling somewhat amazed, feeling flattered, feeling safe.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I want to be a Wing Woman!

Like this gal, I write today from an undisclosed location. I'm looking out the window at trees and warm-not-sweltering sunlight. It's very, very quiet.

I discovered my new calling last Thursday night. I want to be one of these gals. The service is SO desperately needed. As evidenced by the below story:

Last night I went to the Lizard Lounge with my wild gal L. Wildgal has a friend named Ebby who is a singer/songwriter. Now it turns out Ebby's producer is also working with a musician named Alexis, and Ebby suggested we go to see her. Ebby has enjoyed some success in her field, so I figure she knows who's good. I hadn't seen Wildgal in a while, and Ebby in even longer... So on with the eyeliner and out into the night.

Ebby and I have only met once before, but I was glad to see her again. She's a darling person, beautiful blonde gal with a captivating smile and an easy personality. She looks younger than she can possibly be, and seems to be comfortable talking with everyone. Wildgal and I, however, have been friends for several years; she goes to my church. Man, the irreverent times we have had.

We arrived early to the Lounge, anticipating a crowd for Alexis. We were amused to find it empty. The band scheduled to perform before Alexis was still on the stage, pounding and blowing and buzzing away. Two girlfriend-looking gals were perched on the bench nearest the stage, idly bopping and clapping along. Wildgal and Ebby and I started clapping and hollering like crazy, as though these guys were the hottest band we've ever heard. Hey, it sucks to play to an empty room, even if your girlfriend is there. Wildgal and Ebby and I have all done our time on stages, we felt for them. And they weren't bad musicians. Drums, guitar, bass, Saxophone. They appreciated our appreciation.

After they unplugged, they came up and introduced themselves. I'm sure it was simply because we clapped really loud. I mean, our low-cut blouses had nothing to do with it.

The sax player was hot. Just my type: short, glasses, sandy hair, just-geeky-enough white guy musician. Of course, he only had eyes for blonde, busty, leggy Ebby of the Gleaming Teeth.

Ebby mentioned that she was a singer/songwriter, and the train was rolling:

Hot Sax Man: Oh really? Where are you playing next?
Ebby: The Bitter End.
HSM: Great! We'll come!
Ebby: *sweet, self-effacing smile*

I sipped some club soda to fight the nausea. They chatted. I made a few feeble attempts to converse, but it was clear who was onstage and who was not. When the guys were about to leave, I said to Saxy Man "So, we'll see you Tuesday?"

HSM: (ignoring me, straight to Ebby) What time is the show?
Ebby: 9PM.
HSM: (sly pause) I want a personal invitation.
Ebby: (confused) A what?
HSM: I want a personal invitation.

Ebby sort of looked like a deer in the headlights, grinning nervously. I was sick of it at this point. I was in between them, for chrissakes, they were talking over me!

MzOuiser: You'll have to GIVE HER YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS if you want a personal invitation.
HSM: *blank Stare* (translation: And you are...?)

I grabbed a cocktail napkin, asked the bartender for a pen, and slapped them both down on the bar in front of our little sax hottie. He started to backpedal. "Uh, I should use something more substantial than that." I glared at him. "uh.. well.. she's just gonna blow her nose on that later, ha ha ha..."

No, I thought, that's what I would do. "I'll put it in the bag for you," I said, pointing to Ebby's black purse on the bar. "Uh... you'll put it in her bag?" Asshole. No, I'm going to pocket it and then e-stalk you for months. "That's HER BAG," I shouted. "That right there is a SIDE POCKET." I pointed to it, wondering if I'd be better off shoving the cocktail napkin into Ebby's panties or up Saxy's tiny little ass.

Finally he scribbled, and handed the cocktail napkin to Ebby. She held it between thumb and forefinger, looking at it as though it were a used empty lunchbag. More of the sweet, confused smiles.

Ebby just didn't seem to appreciate what was SO CLEARLY going on here. The poor guy was just SO adorable and SO looking for love in the wrong places.

An hour later, the bar was filled with Alexis's fans, dancing and cheering for her fantastic funk/blues jam, which I relished. I indulged in some therapeutic ass-shaking, which cheered me up some. I could have sworn Alexis's bongo player was checking me out, but I was too disgusted with humanity to do anything about it. He did have very nice hands though. Strong. Flexible. And his name was Moses.


Tuesday, September 14, 2004

3 posts, no blogging?

I have written two essays and received one very important bit of news, but have not had the chance to actually type them in. Hopefully I will get to that later this week.

No new job yet. Not even a nibble.

And I hate this template. I must change it.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Inspiration, Wisdom, Encouragement, Love

From my former boss, dear friend, fellow Virgo, and soul-sister, Via Email:

"What's Up With Her?"

There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is, or not at whom made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection.

Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up. Before you make this mistake, take a closer look. A woman who has endured the most unusual life is someone of wisdom, someone who has been chosen by God to go through things that have made her stronger.

Think of all the great women in the bible: Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, the woman with an issue of blood flow, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a prostitute,
(uh, this isn't exactly agreed upon by all, but we'll go with it for now) a very uneasy woman. But by the time Jesus was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man, but by the time God was done with her, she had married one of the wealthiest men in the land.

Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, 'What's up with her?' ask yourself, 'What's up with me?' That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, etc. That woman could be me. Women are the carriers of life, not the channels of death. Let's build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi.

Pass this to all the women in your life. Encourage and Love, Forgive and Forget, and trust that the woman that receives this will be touched in some way.

May peace and love be upon you.


Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, but FAITH looks up.

Blessed be.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

What Women Really Want in Bed

Ms. Magazine Online - What Women Really Want in Bed

a) This is a brilliant article

b) Blogger is giving me shit today, and I'm wondering if this "back door" will be more effective.

And isn't it fun just to say "Blog this?"

More Good Apples in Another Bad Barrel?

Final Tally Awaits the Police and Protesters

An excerpt:

Allegations that the post-arrest screening site at Pier 57 was unhealthy or unsafe, or that prisoners were denied food or water, are untrue," Paul J. Browne, a spokesman for Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, said in an e-mail message. He added that "there is no evidence that the Police Department purposely held demonstrators any longer than necessary."

All told, the police say they arrested 1,821 people, the most at any political convention. Of those, 56 were for felonies, 282 were for misdemeanors, 1,480 were for violations and 3 were juvenile arrests.

Few people, including those who were held for long periods, suggested yesterday that the police used excessive physical force, but many complained bitterly of their treatment once they were locked up.

Ok... But they were given food and water, right?

Wendy Stefanelli, 35, who works as a stylist for "Sex and the City" and other shows, said that she was arrested when she tried to stop a police officer from beating a protester, but that she was not demonstrating herself. She spent several hours with other arrested people on a bus, where one man with Crohn's disease suffered from a burst colostomy bag.

"He was throwing up all over the back of the bus," she said in an e-mail message. "The entire bus begged the officers present to please get medical attention to this man. They completely ignored us."

So, the cops didn't beat the people in the "holding tank," but a woman was arrested for trying to stop a beating on the street. Or so she says. Sex and the City was a pretty liberal show you know, no family values at all.

But I digress. Crohn's disease is nothing to sneeze at. I cannot imagine the agony that man must have been in, and I cannot imagine the unpleasantness the others on the bus were forced to contend with.

So the post-arrest screening site at Pier 57 was safe. Too bad that's not the only site in question.

Ms. Lopez said she visited the Manhattan district attorney's office, where things appeared quiet as many protesters entered the system. "We know that at least 450 people were being detained," Ms. Lopez said. "Therefore, the office of the D.A. shouldn't have been empty when I visited him."

Is she suggesting that the protesters should have been in the DA's office? Or maybe it should have been stormed by attorneys representing the protestors? How much you wanna bet the attorneys were stuck on a bus somewhere? Or simply detained with the rest of the protestors?

Mr. Bloomberg has consistently denied that the conditions at the pier were poor, adding that it was clean and that people were provided food inside. "It's not Club Med, don't make any mistake about it, and it's not supposed to be Club Med," he said last week. "And I don't think there's anyone in the city that wants to make it Club Med. Which I used to go to all the time and I always found great! This is not supposed to be great."

Oh, isn't Bloomberg cute? Can't you just hear the smirk on his face? Aren't we all so happy to hear that he found Club Med to be great on all his trips there. Isn't that funny! Because last time we went, we loved it too! Oh wait. We're not part of the 4% of this country that can afford monthly allergy meds or blood pressure meds, to take our kids to the doctor, get our automobiles repaired, or occasionally enjoy a vacation at the Finger Lakes, never mind Club Fucking Med.

But wait!

Norman Seabrook, president of the Correction Officers' Benevolent Association, said that he thought the pier was better than some jails he has seen, and that he would be the first to complain if his officers were working in a poorly maintained facility. "They would not be happy going through Rikers Island," he said, speaking of the protesters. "The rats, the roaches, the mice, the alleged rapes and sodomies. They should count their blessings. Many of the protesters were not from New York City, and they should just go on their way."


Hm. Club Med. It seems to me there's a long, loooooong continuum between Club Med and Riker's Island. But then, that's Bloomberg for you,and a lot of other pushy politicians. They maintain that it's either My Idea or THIS OTHER BAAAD idea over here - NO other options!! None!

Middle Class, Mike. It's called MIDDLE CLASS. People who don't need to drive BMW's to feel that they have arrived in society. People who are perfectly happy in a 6-room house with their kids. People who value the basic, simple things in life: a job they can feed, house and care for their family with, without a commute that makes it impossible to ever have dinner together or ever make it to a softball game or school play. Vacations spent with family, not celebrities. People who are proud to pay taxes because we are proud to live in, for all it's problems, the greatest country on earth. People who aren't looking for a free ride - we're looking for a fair one.

Can you say the same, Mike? Can Cheney?

When New York City refused to offer the permits to protestors, New York was called "un-American." There have been some other horrific events that occurred in the past year that were also called un-American. And the same group of people have been involved every time.

This isn't politics. This is humanity. As if I didn't have enough ideological reasons for my vote.

Oh crap. Look what I just did, a political post. Damn. I swore I wasn't going to do that... I guess on this flooded morning when I'm stranded on the Upper West Side, looking around me at the blue-collar workers cursing and sneezing in the wet, watching the non-resident yuppies riding by in their Lexi while talking on their cellphones, reading this article just pushed me over the edge.

FYI: I moved two years ago and never updated my address with the voting department. I've fixed that now and am waiting for my new Voter Registration card to arrive in the mail. When's the last time all of you moved? Did you re-register? If not, go here and update your address! And phone, and everything else. Don't give anyone any reasons to deny you your entry to that little booth with the levers.

Update: NY1 has been talking about this all day. Glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is crazy. I heart sassy Pat.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

My God, What Have I Done?

Today I am at my boyfriend's house in South Nyack. I love being here. The living room is all windows, facing the Hudson River and the Tappan Zee bridge. The sun streams in filtered through the leafy trees that surround the building. Birds flit in and out. It's an ideal place to write.

I have written a rather long essay which I will not post here, because my Mother is mentioned, and she doesn't feel quite comfortable with it. She did, however, suggest that I not mention our names, and submit it to this historic mag for possible inclusion. So I am. I'm also submitting to a couple of spiritual publications. You never know.

This is the first time I have ever submitted my writing anywhere for possible publication. I'm interestingly dispassionate about it. But glad I did it. And I do find it amusing that my Mom thinks my blog is more likely to bite her in the ass than a nationally-published and distributed magazine.

In other news, I have not yet managed to shower yet. It is simply too comfortable here at bf's place. I washed my hands and face and put on some of (his) clean clothes, but have yet to really prepare myself to face the world.

With this in mind, about an hour ago, I went to the bathroom to retrieve the hairbrush I keep here for myself. I found it stashed in the cabinet under the sink. Now, bf is not like most straight men - he is a very clean, neat person. No empty beer cans or pizza boxes to be found. No clothes hanging on doorknobs - they are all folded in the drawers, hanging on hangers, or waiting patiently in the laundry basket to be washed. He does laundry a couple of times a month. He swiffers and dusts and scrubs all the time. His apartment sparkles. He doesn't bring home crap all the time that he doesn't need - he has virtually no clutter anywhere.

Except under the sink.

I couldn't help but dig around a bit. Contact lens cleaner. Extra deodorant. About 50 tiny bottles of shampoo and body lotion, swiped from hotels. Most of them are Neutrogena, which he swiped for me rather recently because I love Neutrogena. (mmmloveydovey) Towels neatly folded, lying on top of the scattered bottles and disposable razors and mini soaps.

I started to just sort of straighten up a bit. Just stand up the bottles. Just the big ones, the lens cleaner and the Nyquil. Next thing I know I'm standing up all of them, even the little ones of lotion and shampoo. Now I'm started to categorize them and stand them up in groups. The cabinet looks nice.

No it doesn't. It looks like some OCD person lives here.

I raked my hand through the cabinet, returning it to the chaotic state it was before. I then brushed my hair.

I think I'll take that shower now.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Those F*ing Bastards

Columbus swift boat vet angry about letter -

I saw this on his blog. I just can't believe it. I have no words to describe my outrage. I have no words. I am just a ball of white hot fury.

I must now vaccuum. Loudly.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Well, if you insist...

Oh do you really now?

Although I must warn you: I am unemployed.

(From his blog)